Saturday morning 60 children, ages 6 to 12, participated in the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day TRYathlon. Kids ran one mile, followed by a 1.5-mile bike ride and a 100-yard swim.
“That was tough,” one participant said with a grin.
“You did great. I am really proud of you,” came the father’s response.
Every child participating was awarded a medal regardless of how long it took them to finish the event.
Senior Program Director Rodney Murray said the TRYathlon was more about getting kids involved and not about winning or losing.
“We want everyone here to remember we are here to have fun. We are not going to keep track of who comes in first. We just want everyone to try their best,” said a YMCA volunteer at the start of the event.
Scott’s Bicycle Center was on hand before the event to do a safety check of everyone’s bike and offer some words of advice for the cycling portion of the TRYathlon.
In addition to YMCA’s events, representatives from the Behavioral Research Institute were simultaneously hosting their fourth annual Day in the Park program. This is the third year the event has been held at the YMCA campus to better support both programs.
“We really appreciate this partnership with the Y,” said BRI’s program facilitator, Kelly Myers. “We wouldn’t be able to get this kind of traffic without them, and we in turn are able to do some games and activities for the kids that ‘The Y’ isn’t able to do.”
Day in the Park is BRI’s attempt to increase awareness about child abuse and provide information on preventing future cases and helping those children who are currently or have previously lived with abuse.
The program featured numerous games, face painting, giveaways and live music.
“As time has gone by, Day in the Park has really become part of our landscape. It’s all a part of our effort at the YMCA to be a community hub and give something back to the community,” Murray said.
Another event happening at the YMCA on Saturday was a health fair focusing on physical, mental and spiritual health.
Around 30 vendors were present at the fair informing those coming in about everything from drug prevention to the health benefits of juice.
Even Santa was on hand to talk to kids about safe lifestyles. He informed the children that the elves had the North Pole under control and he spends the rest of the year making sure kids are safe.
“We are always happy to offer support to those local businesses and organizations promoting a healthy lifestyle. It’s a really good opportunity for these guys to get the word out,” Murray said.
Other attractions were an entire gym full of inflatable fun houses provided by Bounce and Play World free of charge.
The YMCA also held free fitness classes for parents and children.
“We just really want to thank all of our sponsors for their support, city and county law enforcement for helping out, all our volunteers for doing such a great job and the families who brought their kids out today. They are our partners too,” Murray said.